Guest blogging for brands
In this article, we look at the core fundamentals and best practices when guest blogging. You’ll learn how to effectively create, distribute and promote your articles via guest blogging.
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging, or guest posting, is placing your original articles on someone else’s blog. The author details are usually included on the post and indicate that this article has been written by a guest. It’s really that straightforward.
Blogging has been around since 1994 and it didn’t take long before guest blogging also became a standard marketing practice.
Guest blogging is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic for a number of reasons. We’ll get to these in a sec. However, getting your articles on someone else’s blog is difficult to do.
Cold email outreach to blog owners, the back and forth emails, and issuing payments are just some of the time-consuming issues that come with guest blogging. The whole process scares most marketers off.
This creates a huge opportunity for marketers that can streamline the guest blogging process.
Content gives you direct access to media who are willing to take your articles. Streamlining the whole process and making guest blogging a sinch. Your competitive advantage!
Why guest blog?
Here are the top reasons you should be guest blogging:
1. Garnering backlinks
Backlinks from reputable sites is still a major ranking factor when it comes to SEO. Most marketers generate backlinks through guest posts.
2. Awareness through guest posting
Posting your articles on other sites is a great way to leverage that site’s readers. Instant traffic to your article and exposes your brand, product, or service to a ready audience.
3. Social proof and brand alignment
Creating trust with your audience takes time. Aligning your brand with other trusted sites is great for your reputation. It creates social proof that products or services are worthy of recommending.
The difficulties with guest blogging
We briefly covered the main issues with guest posting above; in this section, we will dive a bit deeper into them.
You’ve made the decision to start guest blogging, great! Now you need to find some blogs to reach out to. One way you can do this is by searching the web to find some blogs that might fit. You’ll need to make a big list of these as most will ignore your emails.
Guest blogging outreach
So now you have your list of publishers, you can start finding contact details for the editor and blast out a bunch of emails. Easier said than done.
In our experience, a vast majority of blogs only seem to have a contact form and no direct contact details.
Contact forms and generic email addresses like new@… either don’t get looked at or are trashed as soon as you say guest post.
This is because over the years black hat marketers have spammed every blog with low-quality requests, trying to sell disingenuous products.
Blogs get so many spammy requests that it’s more than likely your requests will also be ignored. Annoying, we know!
The only way to ‘get in’ with reputable blogs is to find someone’s direct contact details and craft a custom email to that person.
If, by the grace of god, an editor does reply to your cold email; you now have to convince them that you are worthy and that the post you are proposing is relevant and value-adding to their readers.
Payments and liability
There are a few things you need to consider when arranging content with a publisher. You need to be very clear with your terms; the publish date, the included images, the backlinks, and the payment.
When dealing directly with publishers, it’s most likely that they will require 100% of the publishing fee up-front.
We have heard stories of brands paying blogs for guest posts and then never hearing from them again.
To remove the risk, we created the payment process, in Contento, to hold each party accountable. Monies are held with Contento until everyone is happy with the live article.
Black hat vs white hat
You might have come across these marketing terms; Black Hat or White Hat. For example, keyword stuffing your blog post is considered a black hat marketing technique; while writing value-adding content where keywords are included naturally falls under ‘white hat’.
Black hat is the term used to label disingenuous, unethical and possibly malicious marketing or hacking practices. Black hat techniques are synonymous with hackers and are usually aimed at driving large quantities of traffic by any means necessary. Quantity over quality.
White hat is the opposite. White hat marketers like to stay within the guidelines and avoid search engine penalties. Marketing in a responsible and ethical way; managing audience expectations, and delighting the user. Quality over quantity.
When guest blogging, we highly recommend you stay away from black hat techniques.
Don’t keyword stuff your copy.
Write your articles in a natural way. Don’t forcefully cram your target keywords into every sentence. Search engines see through this and will penalize the post.
Don’t post the same article more than once.
Search engines and publishers want unique articles. If you have more than one copy of the same article, anywhere on the net, search engines won’t know where to send people and will de-rank your posts.
Don’t be misleading.
Create trust with your audience through meaningful guest blogging. An article that is disingenuous, spammy, or misleading is not going to be picked up by any reputable blog, and will only lead to early page exits.
Don’t buy links on unrelated sites
Not all backlinks are equal. Your articles should be posted on blogs that are relevant to your market and industry. It’s also best to get links from websites that are higher ranking than yours.
Creating Value-adding content
When it comes to guest blogging, value-adding content is what it’s all about. No decent blog is going to accept a guest post that’s completely advertorial.
Your posts must be relevant and value-adding. Educate, inspire or entertain the audience.
Draw on your knowledge and expertise to create great content that shows you know what you’re talking about. Being a thought-leader in your industry will create trust, increase your reputation, and ultimately increase sales.
Guest blogging and your content strategy
When it comes to effective marketing, there is no silver bullet. There is not one thing that will turn your business into a massive success.
Posting content on your own site will only get you so far. Guest blogging is a great way to tap into existing audiences, and this is especially good if you’re new and/or your website is not getting a decent amount of traffic yet.
Guest posting is great for brand/product awareness and should be including guest posts in your content strategy.
Successful guest blogging is hard to do, yes (not if you use Contento). But well worth the effort.
Don’t be scared to repurpose your articles. You might have a great article that’s getting a lot of traffic. You might want to re-use that article as a guest post. You can’t just use the same article, so this is where repurposing comes in.
Use the duplicate content tool to set the original copy and then the duplicate content tool can guide you to change it to a minimum of 30%. This is more than enough to be classed as a unique article for both publishers and search engines.
Instead of spamming out a press release to media, it’s better to offer publishers a unique article. The duplicate content tool makes it easy to turn that press release into a bunch of unique articles.
It might to you longer to craft different articles, but you’ll get better placement with media and also avoid any duplicate content issues from copy/pasted press releases.
Promoting your guest blogs
Promoting your articles in another part of guest blogging. Remember to leverage and promote your live guest posts through your mailers, social media channels, and any other way you have to help drive readership.
There are over 2,000,000 blog posts published every day (source). To stand out amongst the noise you need to be unique and you need to look for distribution and promotion techniques that haven’t yet gone mainstream.
Contento could be your guest blogging advantage. Offer your articles to a network of reputable publishers. No cold emails, no back and forth comms, just a streamlined process that allows you to focus on creating more content and not wasting your time on outreach.
Give it a go and see what ROI you can get. You have nothing to lose and potentially lots of traffic to gain. Start your trial here.
some of the reputable publishers you can offer content to
Some of the registered blogs on Contento:
+ many more!
From big high-traffic blogs to niche industry specific blogs, we have a number of media ready to take your articles. Blogs from all around the world. You can use the Content Planner section in Contento to explore all our publishers.
“Contento has made distributing our articles super easy! I don’t have to spend time reaching out and building relationships with publishers, and it’s helped me to create content that has a much better ROI. It’s a game changer.” – Natalie Robinson, Mum’s Garage
“The articles we have put through Contento have directly resulted in ticket sales for our events. It’s a fantastic tool for brand awareness and exposure through other blogs” – Olivia Rogers, Tourism HQ